U.S. Coast Guard's Record-Breaking Drug Bust: $181 Million Worth Of Cocaine

| by Mackenzie Fleming

The U.S. Coast Guard made a record-breaking cocaine bust in July after discovering about 16,000 pounds of the drug hidden in a homemade stealth sea vessel. 

The self-propelled semi-submersible vessel — a vessel often used to smuggle large quantities of drugs across bodies of water — was intercepted in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, reports Inquisitr. The Coast Guard stopped the 40-foot mini submarine after it was spotted by a U.S. Navy aircraft on July 18, CNN reported. 

The “narco-submarine” was seized more than 200 miles south of Mexico. The Coast Guard found 275 bales of cocaine on board and the entire crew of four manning the vessel were taken into custody, Inquisitr reported. 

The large quantity of narcotics found is said to be worth more than $181 million.

To help balance the sub as it was towed to shore, only six tons of cocaine were removed from the vessel while two tons were left inside, CNN reported. The homemade sub took on water and sank. It went down in international waters, containing more than $90 million worth of cocaine, according to Inquisitr. 

The Coast Guard announced the bust, saying it was the largest ever semi-submersible interdiction in its history, CNN reported. 

The bust was also the first where one of the Coast Guard’s ships had recovered two subs on one patrol — also having seized 5,400 pounds of cocaine in June.

“Our success intercepting this drug-laden, self-propelled semi-submersible is a testament to the collaboration of our partner agencies and demonstrates the importance of our increased presence in the Western Hemisphere,” said Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray, commander, Pacific Area. “Every interception of these semi-submersibles disrupts transnational organized crime networks and helps increase security and stability in the Western Hemisphere.”

Source: Inquisitr, CNN / Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard via Inquisitr